Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs in the world and is illegal around the globe. Despite this fact, it still has a growing popularity rate. Opium is extracted from poppy seeds, which is chemically altered to morphine which is then altered to make heroin. The drug is sold in a variety of liquid and solid forms which can be taken in numerous ways.
Heroin is usually available as a white or brown powder. Larger blocks of heroin also come as a black sticky substance sometimes also called the black tar heroin. It is usually classified with different levels of strength and purity which significantly impact the symptoms and side effects a user may experience.
Heroin creates a “Downer effect” which rapidly induces state of relaxation and euphoria which is directly related to the chemical changes in the pleasure centers of the brain. On the other hand similar to opiates, the use of heroin blocks the brains abilities for perceiving pain. The abusers themselves initially may not conceal any signs and symptoms of their heroin use especially in cases when they have a history to drug abuse but loved ones and co -workers notice multiple visible signs during and after the heroin use.
The drug is widely popular for the feelings of pleasure in incites in the user. The abuser experiences a rush; a warm, uplifting feeling similar to euphoria. It also calms and relaxes the users body and mind, and numbs the limbs to induce a trance-like a state. The user also experiences an increased sense of confidence.
Ingestion of the drug occurs in numerous ways. The user can roll it up and smoke it, or inject it directly into the bloodstream, into the skin or the muscle. Heroin can also be inhaled or snorted. Regardless of the method of intake, the drug works fast and soon intoxicates the user.
Heroin has more negative side effects than any possible positive effect it could have. Immediate effects include nausea, headaches, vomiting and itching on various parts of the body. As the immediate effects wear off, the user begins to experience drowsiness, slowed breathing and heart rate and memory loss. As the use of heroin continues, long-term effects start to develop. The user develops a high risk of heart disease and infections in liver and kidneys. Skin infections and insomnia follow. If the user injects the heroin into his system, the skin begins to bruise and veins collapse due to multiple injections. The body begins to waste away due to lack of sleep and the user suffers from malnutrition and lack of appetite.
The greatest threat of using heroin is the constant fear of overdose. As heroin is a relaxant, it slows down the heart rate and breathing pattern for quite some time. Even a slightly larger intake than the normal dose would lead to death as the body metabolism would drop below the range required to keep the body functioning. The brain can be damaged due to lack of oxygen and the person suffers from failed organs.
Further impacts of heroin include the destruction of personal life, financial difficulties, and legal penalties. Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs used today and the craving for the drug increases with every intake. Hence, the user has to increase the amount of heroin they ingest with each dose. The drug is an expensive one, so to curb their cravings, users are willing to sell anything and everything and even steal.
Heroin users and addicts are compelled to keep going with their drug use both because of the relief from pain that it brings and secondly because of the fear of exaggerated symptoms that may arise as a result to withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms usually may begin after a few hours or sometimes a day after the sustained use of the drugs is limited.